Friday, 20 December 2013

Parsnip "Gladiator F1"

This week I harvested a few more of my Parsnips:

These are of the variety "Gladiator F1", which I have grown several times before. They are usually pretty reliable, though I have to say that this year's roots are a bit on the small side. This may of course be due to weather conditions - for instance the very hot spell we had in August.

The Parsnips look better when washed and ready for the kitchen:

Those three were used in a very English fashion - roasted in the oven alongside a brace of Partridge cooked in a wine and shallot gravy.

At this time of year I expect many of you are planning what seeds to buy for next year. If you were considering getting some seeds for Gladiator F1, how do you think this Parsnip would be described?

"... ideal for exhibition, with beautiful silky-smooth blemish free, white skins. The high quality roots are quick to mature with a deliciously sweet, earthy flavour. Parsnip 'Gladiator' is consistently reliable and trouble free, with particularly good resistance to canker.." (Thompson and Morgan)

 " excellent, sweet, heavy-producing parsnip, which never gets too big and woolly." (Sarah Raven)

"...Parsnip Gladiator F1 is a top quality, reliable veg that consistently produces bumper crops of long wedge shaped roots with the classic sweet parsnip taste. It was awarded a well-deserved RHS AGM in 2009 and this was re-confirmed in 2011 trials." (   [I particularly admire the fact that these people have used realistic photos of the sort of Parsnip anyone could grow, not the perfect showbench specimens that you so often see illustrating seed packets!

"...Parsnip 'F1 Gladiator' is the original 'designer' parsnip. Bred to be fast maturing and high yielding, they are also resistant to canker. It looks good too; the roots have a shallow crown with smooth, tactile, white skin." (

"...We like Gladiator for its quick germination and early growth; it is bigger and more vigorous right from the beginning. Gladiator is wide at the top with a short body. It is tender and delicious even to the largest sizes, with no core. Canker resistant." West Coast Seeds

With accolades like that, how could you possibly resist buying them?? The reality of course is often something a little different...

These ones aren't too bad, though the one with "crossed legs" is a bit wierd:


  1. Ha ha, that penultimate photo is quite obscene, or is that my mind? My parsnips have been the best I've ever grown this year so I've chosen to grow the same variety again next year, Tender and True.

  2. It is always hard to determine what a vegetable will do with all those glowing descriptions in seed catalogs. One of the reasons I like the Fedco catalog is that though they do have glowing descriptions too, they will tell you when not to plant it. Things like doesn't do well in sandy soils or inconsistent germination in cold soils or produces uniform fruits so good for the market gardener. They have no photos, but their descriptions aren't taken directly from the seed producers marketing. They have trialed them all and hold things like taste tests.

  3. We grow gladiator and this year have dug yp some real beauties - best ever!

  4. They will all taste good when baked with the potatoes at Christmas

  5. I love all the different shapes of homegrown veg.

  6. Mine were a little too small this year for my liking.

  7. I might give these a go, I love reading the seed merchants' descriptions, they all sound so convincing! What's the flavour like?

    1. The flavour is good, CJ, very sweet and strong.


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